Greece coach Claudio Ranieri voiced his satisfaction with the performance of the national team in Helsinki’s 1-1 draw with host Finland on Saturday for the 2016 European Championship qualifiers, saying the risk in pucking the squad he took was worth it, even though Greece did not get maximum points.
“We played well (except for) the first 15 minutes of the second half, when we defended too deep,” Ranieri said. “We improved a lot from the game at the Karaiskakis (stadium), and it’s OK, one point is good.
“I took the risk of picking younger players (to start) and both (goalscorer Nikos) Karelis and (Charis) Mavrias played very well.”
The Italian brought in a fresh attacking trio in the final minutes, to no avail.
Ranieri was assisted on the bench by veteran Greece player Giorgos Karagounis, who retired after the World Cup.
“I’m not happy with the Greece goal but it was an excellent shot. Overall I have to be satisfied with a point,” Finland coach Mixu Paatelainen said.